An investigation based on documents published by Football Leaks involves the Citizens in another thorny situation, after the sanction they received in 2020.
Manchester Town is back in the eye of the storm for a very serious revelation of the German newspaper Mirror based on documents submitted by Football Leaks. It points to the British club for Financial irregularities and mismanagement with underage soccer playerssomething that could lead to another controversial investigation around the British team.
Specifically, the document published in Mirror explicit three harsh accusations against the Citizens. First, having pressured minor soccer players to sign contracts in exchange for large sums of moneysomething that goes against international regulations. Secondly, payments camouflaged as coming from sponsors but that were actually made directly by Sheikh Mansur Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi. Finally, they are also accused of Irregularities in the payment of the contract of Roberto Mancini, former coach of the club between 2009 and 2013, who would have received part of his salary through a simulated consultancy contract.
The three accusations were published by the German newspaper. As they explain, through a joint investigation with the network of European Research Collaborations (European Investigative Collaborations, for its acronym in English), managed to discover that Manchester City “would have violated the rules by paying millions in commissions to player agents, in addition to orchestrating secret triangulations to sign minor players“. All the documents on which they based their information were delivered by the network soccer leaks.
Manchester City investigated for money coming directly from the Abu Dhabi government
Sheikh Mansur is the owner of Manchester City, through Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development (ADUG)which is the majority shareholder of city group. Although he belongs to the royal family of Abu Dhabi, according to Der Spiegel, the sheikh always stated that his investment was “purely private”. In fact, hehe went on to testify before CAS that ADUG “has no connection” to the government of the United Arab Emirates or the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
However, as Football Leaks found out, there are documents that would prove that ADUG payments to the club actually came directly from an Abu Dhabi government agency, the Executive Affairs Authority. In fact, as indicated Mirror, Khaldoon Al Mubarak officiates as both Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and of Manchester City. The German medium indicates that Al Mubarak would be the one who approved the payments from the government to the club’s accounts.
What was that money used for according to the investigation? To pay commissions from representatives of soccer players, something that contravenes current legislation.
Manchester City pressures underage players to sign contracts
Another of the points of the accusation against Manchester City indicates that There were hidden payments to underage soccer players, to pressure them to sign contracts with the club.
As explained Mirror, some of the players who would have been involved would be Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz. In the case of the latter, in Football Leaks appears a contract signed by the footballer at the age of 14 with the agency that represented him -owned by Pere Guardiola, Pep’s brother-, which established that “they were going to receive 420,000 pounds from ADUG if they convinced the player to sign a contract with Manchester City”, something he did when he turned 17.
The contract between Roberto Mancini and Manchester City, observed by alleged irregularities
In 2009, the leadership leadership of the club would have used the group of Abu Dhabi Al-Jazira -with links to Sheikh Mansur- to hide part of the salary paid to the Italian Roberto Mancini to direct the Citizens. This operation would have even been orchestrated by simon pearcemember of the board of directors of the British team, according to Mirror.
Specifically, the German media indicates that Mancini signed a base contract of 1.45 million pounds per season, with an additional four million pounds in goals. That same day -December 19, 2009-, the Italian signed another consulting contract with Al-Jazeera. The amount? £1.75 million a year, tax-free, per year.
In order to collect that second salary, Mirror indicates that Mancini placed a company responsible for doing so, Italy International Services (IIS)based in Rome. As they explain, that company sent its invoices to City, which in turn sent the money to ADUG, which then transferred that same money to Al-Jazira, to finally pay the agreement to IIS.
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